By: Monika Bartyzel, reprinted from TIFF 9/7/09
The name of the cinematic game is believing what happens on the big screen, and suspending belief when necessary. It's a particular and difficult game -- one that is, of course, pulled off with varying degrees of success. One person's perfectly natural action is another person's highly irregular one, and there's no set line for what will be stomached, accepted, and believed. In the case of Atom Egoyan's erotic thriller Chloe, Amanda Seyfried, Julianne Moore, Max Thieriot, and Liam Neeson toe the line of believability as they sail through the sticky waters of romantic discontent and mistrust.
Seyfried is Chloe, a young prostitute well-versed in the finer points of subterfuge -- embodying everything her clients dream. And Moore is Catherine, a successful gynaecologist -- the established professional, mother, and aging woman desperately wishing for the lust-filled attentions that her husband David (Neeson) used to heap on her. After he avoids her on his birthday, "missing" a plane (and subsequently a surprise party), she becomes wary. And when he continues to flirt with every young woman he meets, Catherine becomes convinced that he is cheating.